… DOWNTOWN & DRIFTWOOD – new #printmag

I’ve recently launched a new UK based print magazine – I’m looking to promote photography, photojournalism, street photography, poetry and short stories. Issue 1 is exclusively my own work: I’ve wanted, for many years, to self publish a coffee table book with my own photography and poetry but as some of you may know, it can be very expensive. A hardback photobook, with decent paper for displaying photographs, would cost in the region of £80 so to make it more accessible I’ve launched a bimonthly print magazine and am looking for contributors.

Whether your preferred art is photography, in a street, journalistic, landscape, portrait or fashion ilk I’d be interested in seeing it. If you prefer to write poetry, I’d love to read it or if you prefer to write short stories, I’d love to read those too.

You can see the magazine online here or you can buy it by clicking on the Issue 1 cover image below.

If you would like to have something in print, like the look of the magazine and would like to submit, please do so by sending your work to mag@stevemurphyphotography.co.uk. I’d love to hear from you ! I have contributors sending poetry and short stories through and am looking for content for issues 2, 3, 4 and on and on …

Issue 1 cover
Issue 1 cover

I was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on Thursday which you can listen to by going to 02:16 of the show here.

I’d really love to hear from photographers, poets and short story writers – so if you, or your friends would like to submit please share and send work through.

Thank you and look forward to discussing work with you !

Steve

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Bury Park

I took a wander down to Bury Park this morning and met the lady that runs the “In Bury Park” website, Marie. She told me what she was doing and I can fully understand the thinking behind it. For as long as I can remember the only time I have ventured into Bury Park, out of the car, has been to watch the football, and I’m guessing that’s the same for a lot of people.

The Doctor - I don't know why he's called the Doctor - but it made everyone laugh when they told me
The Doctor – I don’t know why he’s called the Doctor – but it made everyone laugh when they told me his name

My own ignorance, before I went for my wander this morning, made me think my camera and I might not be welcome but I’ve never met such a willing and friendly bunch of shopkeepers. Busy setting up, I knew I would get people busy about their business (I’ve been down to Covent Garden Apple Market while they were setting up and that was similar, although I must say they were not nearly as friendly and willing to pose as my models today).

The Boss
The Boss

There was a definite hierarchy at the larger shops as they were setting up – wherever you go and in every walk of life there will be a boss and underlings. It was very evident in these shops and almost gave me the feeling that there is a much stronger feeling of respect for the elders in the community. The boss would be stood on the pavement outside the shop directing the younger guys around and making sure the morning’s delivery was set out properly. It was the same in at least two shops and these were the only two large fruit and veg shops setting up. I think things get moving a bit later on – especially as it is Ramadan at the minute. I was advised to come back later in the day as things liven up once fasting is over and food and drink are aplenty after sunset.

Mr Shah - on the right - was most definitely the boss
Mr Shah – on the right – was most definitely the boss

The streets were clean and any rubbish was being picked up as they went along. It was a bit like going back in time on a few occasions – e.g. when the lorry was being unloaded and the fork truck was manouvering on the pavement – very skillfully I must say !

Unloading
Unloading
I say tomatoes - you say tomatoes
I say tomatoes – you say tomatoes
Smiler
Smiler
Kacha
Kacha
The butcher at work
The butcher at work
Danny Jamaica is a regular
Danny Jamaica is a regular
Lady shopper
Lady shopper
They didn't have my size
They didn’t have my size
gloves
The big man
Mango season - everyone was saying their mangoes are the best between here and Birmingham
Mango season – everyone was saying their mangoes are the best between here and Birmingham
Child's play
Child’s play

I met the local traffic wardens – they were keen to explain there is plenty of parking in and around Bury Park – there are two car parks at the Beech Hill end and plenty of street meters but they did advise to check the signs. On one side it might be ticketed metering but on the other it could well be resident permits only and a lot of people fall prey to the trap. Take a second look if you park on a meter – the wardens are double teamed and do their job well.

Warden
Warden

All in all it was a great morning. I was there too early but then I didn’t know any better. I will go back and I will, in the first instance, go back this week, later in the day, to see what happens as the day’s fast breaks. I will also go back on a more regular basis, the clothes are a bit colourful for me and I don’t have much money to spend on jewellery but if you are after some decent fresh fruit and veg and well butchered meat – Bury Park is the place.

As I said at the beginning Bury Park has been seen as a predominantly asian part of town and it’s true, most of the shops are run by asians. But there are a lot of other nationalities that run shops, units and street market stalls – among them are Polish, Turkish and Italian and I’m sure there are more. If you haven’t been down to Bury Park recently, park up in Sainsbury’s or on a street meter (watch the signs) and take a wander, buy some fruit and veg, have a coffee and have a chat with the people – I promise you you’ll gain from it.

Have a good week !

Steve

LU4 – is …

… where I live. Luton – Bedfordshire – UK – LU4. From the outside it’s a bit of a shithole but it’s where I live and it’s where I grew up. LU4 is where we moved to when I was 8 – when Dad was looking for work. I captained the school cricket team for 5 years in LU4 – I played rugby for the school on Saturday mornings – cold wet winter Saturday mornings – a Saturday morning when only 10 of us turned up to play – the opposition were arriving soon and we only had 10 – we needed another 5. So we bomb blasted around the estate to try and find some more players – there was no such thing as a mobile phone in 1983 and not everyone had a home phone – so off we went – 20 minutes later we were all back – with 2 extra players. “Sorry lads” the teacher said “we can’t play with 12, we’ll have to cancel” – not sure what we said but we made it quite clear we weren’t about to give up that easily. The opposition arrived and we played – the 12 of us never played tougher or harder than on that cold wet Saturday morning – and we won – 12 against 15 – every tackle went in hard – every pass was made – and everyone of us was absolutely knackered at the end of it.

That – is grit – and determination. We didn’t have much – but what we did have – we made the most of it.

LU4 is a bit like that – it’s a shithole – if you look from the outside. If you come here – from the outside – you might feel intimidated. Since January this year there have been a number of shootings and stabbings – resulting in a number of deaths. I’ve been to areas of London – with a laptop in a bag over my shoulder or a camera hanging around my neck – and just thought to myself I shouldn’t be here but when I’m on Lewsey Farm (LU4) I don’t feel worried at all. Maybe I know the escape routes maybe I feel as if I could stand and argue with the knowledge I was here while you were a sperm – whatever it is I don’t feel intimidated by the youths around here.

FUCK THE PIGS

I’ve been spending time with my camera lately and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve found the love for photography I had many years ago and thought I would put the refound love of photography together with a desire to document where I grew up, where I left for the Royal Navy and returned to, where I had my first girlfriend, where I bought my first house, had my first (and second) child, where my children have gone to school and where we still live today.

Dominic Square

Friday night walk to Dominic Square – weekly shop with Mum – and fish and chips for Friday night dinner !

Used to be the Co-op

This is where we used to do the weekly shop – before the days of superstores !

Hampton Road

Just around the corner from Luton Town Football Club – where we walked the 5 miles home after watching Luton play Man Utd in 1985 when they were in Division 1 – got a right rollocking for not telling my parents we were walking home – we were in heaven – we’d just lost to MAN UTD – MANCHESTER UNITED – had been in Luton – they were GODS !

Woodside Industrial Estate …

… is across the road from where I grew up – and of course – was our playground. I still pick up kit to install from this industrial estate today – big project starting at the end of June.

This post is meant as a bit of background to LU4 – where I grew up – where if you didn’t know better you might think it’s a bit of a shithole – but where I kind of love. The idea is to try and update the blog (I haven’t written any poetry for ages and don’t feel inclined to) with snippets of photographs and/or words to document the life of LU4. It will probably stretch to LU3, LU6 and maybe further afield but the plan is to show my manor.

Bailey’s intention was to find subjects in his immediate neighbourhood which offered the minimum amount of obvious visual stimulus … from NW1 (1982) by David Bailey